Q&A with Rambling Run-Ons Blog author Jim Streisel

This is the third in a series of Q&As we will be running with journalism teachers who run their own blogs or websites separate from what they are doing at school. Our second site is http://runofthemill-jim.blogspot.com/ run by Jim Streisel from Indiana.

1. What is your name?
Jim Streisel

2. What is your blog/website URL?
http://runofthemill-jim.blogspot.com/

3. What is the focus for your blog/website?
I call it “Rambling Run-Ons: Musings from an average, middle-aged, lifelong runner.” That about says it all.

4. Why did you decide to create one?
I just wanted a creative outlet to share my ideas about running. Also, I made it about running (instead of about school, journalism, etc.) because I wanted an escape from all of that. Running is that escape for me.

5. How did you gain the skills needed to run your blog/website?
I didn’t really need many skills. I had a Gmail account, and Google makes it really easy to start your own blog from a template. Just pick a theme and you’re in business. I don’t need to know HTML or anything for my blog. The controls are all very intuitive.

6. What benefits have come from running your own blog/website?
Personally, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I write. I like getting comments from others, too, because I know what I say matters to somebody else. Writing has always been a creative hobby fro me, and like most hobbies, it gives me a sense of serenity.

7. Would you say your personal blog/website has made you more or less hands-on with the student site in your program? How so?
I don’t know if it really has affected my involvement of the student site. I’ve always been pretty hands-off with that anyway, and that hasn’t changed much since I started my own blog.

8. In what other ways has having your own blog/website helped you in the classroom?
Several of my students read my blog, which I think is pretty cool because they seem to respect the fact that I know how to write. The adage “practice what you preach” is certainly appropriate here.

9. What advice do you have for someone looking to build their own blog/website?
Just do it. It’s so easy and it can be rewarding.

10. Anything you’d like to add?
I have found that writing about something other than school keeps me sane. Especially in scholastic journalism, it’s easy to get bogged down with work, work, work. Make your blog about something else that you really enjoy – gardening or cycling or comic books. You’ll really appreciate that “me” time.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 20th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull and on Snapchat as aaronmanfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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